I embarked on my first backcountry camping trip in May at Sequoia National Park.  It was so refreshing and absolutely beautiful beyond what a photograph could capture (try as I may).

woke up like this ⛰ #flawless

A post shared by Chrissy (@chrissyha) on

On our last day, it rained.  It started raining around 2a, with the sky forecasting rain for the remainder of the day.  As we were breaking camp, I made sure to Ziploc all the essentials, which included: iPhone, iPhone charger, extra battery pack, extra batteries, change of clothes, and two pairs of socks.  The change of clothes and socks were stowed away, so I could look forward to sleeping in dry clothes and avoid getting sick.  Needless to say, it was really important that all my essentials remained dry.

As I was opening a new gallon-sized bag, one of sides just under the Ziploc “zipper” tore.  I was shocked.  This was not the time for Ziploc to fail on me –in the middle of nowhere, under rain for the next 16 hours, with valuables to keep dry.  Even though it was a small tear, a ripped Ziploc is useless against water.

Fortunately, I had packed enough Ziplocs to store everything and make it back without damaging any of my electronics or getting sick.  As soon as I arrived home,  however, I made a point to reinforce the side zipper-area –an area that is inevitably “weaker” because of constant bag-opening.  I did not want to be in another dire situation with a ripped Ziploc.

Handy-dandy Ziploc bag

For reinforcements, I chose the almighty duct tape.  Because —hello, it’s duct tape.

I considered duct taping all the seams around the bag… and maybe even the entire bag itself (it can get punctured anywhere!)… and then realized that I was getting carried away with duct tape fun.

Added duct tape reinforcements

I came up with this super easy solution in less than 10s as I was processing (i.e., panicking about) the Ziploc tear in my tent.  But like with all ideas, the implementation took just a bit longer…

Ready for future travels!

As I was fixing my Ziplocs, my roommate saw me and said, “You are such an industrial designer.”  Say no more, my life is complete. 😊


FYI, according to Ziploc’s site, Ziploc bags are made with recyclable materials, so recycle your Ziplocs if you have to retire them!


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